In aftermath of Chintels Paradiso collapse, structural audits in other condos in Gurugram

Feb 10, 2023 04:46 AM IST

The structural audits began in September 2022 and the reports were submitted to the DTCP and district administration in the first week of December.

Officials of the department of town and country planning (DTCP) on Thursday said they had issued directions to four private firms that carried out a structural audit in 16 condominiums to hold public hearings and discuss the residents’ objections to their observations by February 16.

The Chintels Paradiso collapse led to the government ordering at least 60 condominiums to be structurally audited. (PTI)
The Chintels Paradiso collapse led to the government ordering at least 60 condominiums to be structurally audited. (PTI)

The Haryana government recommended the structural audit of 60 condominiums in Gurugram in March last year, after multiple complaints by residents and Residents’ Welfare Associations (RWAs)--regarding poor construction quality, structural issues and maintenance–in the aftermath of six floors of a tower in Chintels Paradiso partially collapsing on February 10, leading to the death of two people.According to the district administration, repair work was in progress in the living room of the a flat on the sixth floor, when its roof collapsed, leading to all the floors underneath it caving in.

The structural audits began in September 2022 and the reports were submitted to the DTCP and district administration in the first week of December. On December 13 last year, Nishant Yadav, deputy commissioner, Gurugram, said that they had shared the reports with the RWAs. According to the reports, there were deficiencies in the basements and balconies of most of the societies audited, however, they were repairable.

Manish Yadav, district town planner, enforcement, and a member of the district committee probing the Chintels incident said that a meeting schedule was issued to the four firms on Wednesday. “Experts from these firms will discuss the objections and issues submitted by various RWAs regarding the visual inspections. After this, the future course of action regarding the implementation of remedial measures will be finalised,” said Yadav.

He also said that in most of the condominiums, experts found more maintenance issues rather than structural ones.

The projects that have been structurally audited are Antriksh Heights in Sector 84, Brisk Lumbini in Sector 109, M3M Woodshire in Sector 107, Mapsko Casabela in Sector 86, Mapsko Paradise in Sector 83, Mapsko Royal in Sector 82, Paras Irene in Sector 70A, Park Place in Sector 54, Raheja Vedanta in Sector 108, Signature Global Solera 1, Spaze Privy in Sector 72, The Peaceful Homes in Sector 70 A, Tulip Ivory Apartments, Uniworld Garden 2 in Sector 47, Mahindra Aura in Sector 110A. The structural audit of Raheja Atharva in Sector 109 is still pending, according to DTCP officials.

The RWAs and residents of these condominiums are, however, not satisfied with the decision of the department, and allege that the entire exercise was a farce and was undertaken only to defuse the residents’ anger after the Chintels episode. They allege there has been little to no action on the ground.

Ajit Gupta, a resident of Mahindra Aura condominium, said that residents have raised objections to the visual inspection report. “There is heavy flooding in most of the basements in our society. There are problems with the beams and pillars and cracks in shafts. We want the authorities to look into these issues and take remedial measures,” he said, adding they have submitted their objections to the DTCP. “Regretfully we note that the report, though voluminous, does not capture most critical defects. Towers A & B (which were completed in phase-1 of this project) had major structural failures of balcony beams. Pictures of collapsed beams were shown to auditors, but they failed to record the same. Also, serious seepage issues, which have the potential to turn into structural issues, have not been captured in the report,” the residents noted in their submission.

Praveen Chauhan, president, Mahindra Aura RWA, meanwhile asserted that repair work in the condominium had started before the structural audit process did and it was carried out in accordance with the norms. “The structural audit has been carried out by the experts as per the directions of the district administration and we have fully cooperated with experts,” he said.

Commander (retd) Yogesh Chauhan, president, Antriksh Heights Flat Buyers Association, said that authorities have done nothing after the experts submitted their reports in December. “The condition of our buildings will further worsen if repair is delayed,” he said.

Dharmvir Singh, president, Mapsko Casabela RWA, echoed his views and added that authorities should look into the situation on the ground themselves apart from taking the experts’ reports into account.

When asked about the residents’ issues, Manish Yadav said that public meetings are being organised to resolve these issues and take every concern of the residents into account. “All issues and objections raised by the residents will be addressed by experts,” he said.

Praveen Jain, chairman, National Real Estate Development Council, an industry group and CMD, Tulip Developer, meanwhile said that the structural audits of 15 condominiums including his company’s project have revealed that there are mostly maintenance issues and no serious defects in the structures. “These audits should be carried out in a balanced manner and the government must not summarily order audits as a lot of resources are consumed in the exercise. A balanced approach should be taken on this issue,” he said.

Officials privy to the matter, meanwhile, said that the transfer of the Chintels Paradiso probe to Central Bureau of Investigation is likely to impact the structural audits of the other condominiums. “The departments concerned are now likely to adopt a wait-and-watch approach as the matter is also subjudice and is being heard by the apex court. The functioning of the district committee probing the matter will also be affected by these issues,” an official said, asking not to be named.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Abhishek Behl is principal correspondent, Hindustan Times in Gurgaon Bureau. He covers infrastructure, planning and civic agencies in the city. He has been covering Gurgaon as correspondent for the last 10 years, and has written extensively on the city.

  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Leena Dhankhar has worked with Hindustan Times for five years. She has covered crime, traffic and excise. She now reports on civic issues and grievances of residents.

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